It's almost a regular feature of the The Oscars: Feel good political statements based on faulty facts.
Last night, Patricia Arquette carried on this tradition with her statement:
"To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation… We have fought for everybody else's equal rights. It's our time to have wage equality once for all. And equal rights for women in the United States of America."
Arquette should watch this video by IWF. We already have equal rights for women—including laws that protect women against wage discrimination. The statistical difference between men and women's average earnings isn't driven by sexism, but rather primarily is a result of men and women making very different choices about how to spend their time.
This doesn't mean sexism doesn't exist—it certainly is alive in well in liberal Hollywood—but women shouldn't fall for the tired line that they are doomed to earn less than men because our society is inherently sexist.
Women can write their own story by carefully considering their options and the long-term impact of the choices they make about education, careers, specialties and the time they take out of the workforce.
Women may never catch up to men on average earnings—but if those difference in pay are the result of purposeful choices that women are making based on their priorities, than that doesn't mean we all can't have our own happy ending.